Best Cheap Health Insurance in Tennessee 2020

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Tennessee residents can find affordable health insurance on the state health insurance marketplace. We analyzed all health insurance plans in Tennessee and found that either the Cigna Connect 4750, Silver S04S, Network S or Ambetter Balanced Care 12 was the cheapest Silver health insurance policy, depending where you live in the state.

The average cost of a 2020 health insurance plan in Tennessee is $491 for a 40-year-old. This is 26% less expensive than the rate for 2018 plans, a difference of $171 per month.

The best plan for you depends on both your coverage needs and location, as plans and rates change by county. For example, the Cigna Connect 4750 was the most affordable option in 40 counties, but the monthly cost varies by $41 depending on where you live in Tennessee.

Cheapest health insurance by metal tier

To help you find the best policy that fits your needs, we compared Tennessee health insurance plans by metal tier and found the cheapest plans in the state for each level of coverage. These policies are not available in every county, but can provide a good starting point in comparing the monthly premium and out-of-pocket expenses you can expect for each metal tier.

For example, the cheapest bronze policy, Bronze B08S Network S, has a minimum monthly premium of $318 for a 40-year-old in Tennessee, but it has a $1,650 higher deductible than the Ambetter Balanced Care 12, the cheapest Silver policy. However, you would need to pay $138 more per month for the Ambetter Balanced Care 12.

Metal TierCheapest PlanDeductibleOut-of-Pocket MaximumMonthly Cost for a 40-Year-Old
CatastrophicOscar Simple Secure$8,150$8,150$298
BronzeBronze B08S, Network S$8,150$8,150$318
Expanded BronzeBronze B07S, Network S$5,650$6,650$345
SilverAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$6,500$8,150$456
GoldAmbetter Secure Care 5 (2020)$1,250$5,900$552

Two important elements that affect your monthly premium are age and metal tier. As you grow older, your insurance premium across all metal tiers will increase.

On average, a 40-year-old in Tennessee would pay $80 more per month than a 21-year-old for a Bronze plan. The monthly premium similarly increases for higher metal tiers. For instance, a Gold plan would have a monthly premium that is 38% higher on average than a Silver plan regardless of age.

Average Monthly Cost of Health Insurance Plans by Metal Tier in Tennessee

Finding your best health insurance coverage in Tennessee

The best cheap health insurance plan for you in Tennessee changes depending on where you live, because the availability and monthly premium of a policy can change from county to county. For example, the Cigna Connect 4750 is only available in 65 counties, and it ranges in price from $463 per month to $504 per month for a 40-year-old. However, regardless of where you live, you will be able to choose from different metal tiers of coverage at a variety of rates.

When choosing a policy, higher metal tier health plans, like Gold plans, may come at higher monthly premiums, but they provide better coverage, which means lower out-of-pocket costs. So, if you have or expect to have high medical costs in the coming year, you may wish to choose a higher metal tier, because the lower deductibles, copays and coinsurance would offset the costs of the more expensive premium.

On the other hand, if you have no expected medical costs and are comfortable with covering a high portion of unexpected medical costs, then you may wish to purchase a lower metal tier plan to take advantage of the cheaper rates.

Gold Plans: Best for high expected medical costs

Despite a higher monthly premium than Silver or Bronze plans, Gold plans provide the lowest out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, copays or coinsurance. Therefore, Gold plans will typically offer you the lowest net expenses if you use or expect to use your health insurance often.

Ultimately, these health plans are often best if you have high expected medical costs, such as needing consistent medical attention due to chronic conditions, or if you are concerned about being able to pay out of pocket for an unexpected condition.

Silver Plans: Best for those with low income or average medical costs

Silver plans offer a middle ground between between the expensive monthly premiums of a Gold plan, and the higher deductibles, copays and coinsurance elements of Bronze and Catastrophic plans. The Cigna Connect 4750 Silver plan, for instance, has a monthly premium of $463 with a $4,750 deductible for a 40-year-old in Shelby County. The Cigna Connect 1000 Gold plan has a much lower deductible of $1,000, but it has a higher monthly rate of $723.

If you are part of a lower-income household, Silver plans may also be the best choice for you, as you may qualify for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies. These CSR subsidies would further lower your out-of-pocket expenses. Typical Silver plans cover about 70% of your health care costs while you pay 30%. But under CSR subsidies, you could qualify for a Silver plan that covers up to 94% of your health care costs.

Bronze and Catastrophic plans: Best for young, healthy people

Although Bronze plans are available to everyone, Catastrophic plans require the policyholder to be under age 30 or qualify for an exemption. These plans are the lowest tiers available on the state exchange, which means they offer the cheapest monthly premiums at the expense of high out-of-pocket costs if you were to use your health insurance. We wouldn't recommend these health plans unless you can afford the higher cost sharing in the case of a medical emergency.

Short-term health insurance in Tennessee

Tennessee residents can purchase short-term health insurance through providers outside of the exchange at any time during the year. For this reason, a short-term plan can be a good option if you need quick, temporary coverage or miss open enrollment. Most short-term health plans do not cover all the essential benefits — like maternity care, mental health services and prescription drugs — which should be considered when selecting a plan that fits your health needs.

Tennessee follows federal guidelines when it comes to regulating short-term health insurance. Initial coverage terms are limited to one year and can be renewed for up to 36 months.

Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area

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Best cheap health insurance companies in Tennessee

There are five health insurance companies on the Tennessee state exchange:

  • BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
  • Bright Health Insurance Company of Tennessee
  • Celtic Insurance Company
  • Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company
  • Oscar Insurance Company

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is the only insurer available across the entire state, none of the other insurers are available in every county. However, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co. and Celtic Insurance typically offer the lowest rates for a Silver plan if they are available in your county.

Cheapest health insurance plan by county

Finding the best health plan for you can be difficult, as the set of insurance plans change depending on where you live in Tennessee. To help your search, we identified the most affordable Silver health insurance policies available on the state exchange by county. Whether you are looking for a health insurance plan for you or to cover your whole family, you can use the table below to see the lowest monthly cost for a Silver plan in your region.

CountyCheapest PlanAge 40Couple, Age 40Couple, Age 40 + Child
AndersonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
BedfordSilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
BentonCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
BledsoeCigna Connect 4750$482$963$1,251
BlountAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
BradleyCigna Connect 4750$482$963$1,251
CampbellAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
CannonSilver S04S, Network S$519$1,038$1,349
CarrollCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
CarterCigna Connect 4750$471$943$1,225
CheathamAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$479$958$1,245
ChesterCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
ClaiborneAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
ClaySilver S04S, Network S$519$1,038$1,349
CockeAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
CoffeeSilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
CrockettCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
CumberlandSilver S04S, Network S$519$1,038$1,349
DavidsonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$479$958$1,245
DecaturCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
DekalbSilver S04S, Network S$519$1,038$1,349
DicksonSilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
DyerCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
FayetteCigna Connect 4750$463$926$1,203
FentressSilver S04S, Network S$519$1,038$1,349
FranklinCigna Connect 4750$482$963$1,251
GibsonCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
GilesSilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
GraingerAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
GreeneCigna Connect 4750$471$943$1,225
GrundyCigna Connect 4750$482$963$1,251
HamblenAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
HamiltonCigna Connect 4750$482$963$1,251
HancockCigna Connect 4750$471$943$1,225
HardemanCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
HardinCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
HawkinsCigna Connect 4750$471$943$1,225
HaywoodCigna Connect 4750$463$926$1,203
HendersonCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
HenryCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
HickmanSilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
HoustonSilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
HumphreysSilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
JacksonSilver S04S, Network S$519$1,038$1,349
JeffersonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
JohnsonCigna Connect 4750$471$943$1,225
KnoxAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
LakeCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
LauderdaleCigna Connect 4750$463$926$1,203
LawrenceSilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
LewisSilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
LincolnSilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
LoudonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
MaconSilver S04S, Network S$519$1,038$1,349
MadisonCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
MarionCigna Connect 4750$482$963$1,251
MarshallSilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
MaurySilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
McMinnCigna Connect 4750$482$963$1,251
McNairyCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
MeigsCigna Connect 4750$482$963$1,251
MonroeAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
MontgomeryAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$479$958$1,245
MooreSilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
MorganAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
ObionCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
OvertonSilver S04S, Network S$519$1,038$1,349
PerrySilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
PickettSilver S04S, Network S$519$1,038$1,349
PolkCigna Connect 4750$482$963$1,251
PutnamSilver S04S, Network S$519$1,038$1,349
RheaCigna Connect 4750$482$963$1,251
RoaneAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
RobertsonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$479$958$1,245
RutherfordAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$479$958$1,245
ScottAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
SequatchieCigna Connect 4750$482$963$1,251
SevierAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
ShelbyCigna Connect 4750$463$926$1,203
SmithSilver S04S, Network S$519$1,038$1,349
StewartSilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
SullivanCigna Connect 4750$471$943$1,225
SumnerAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$479$958$1,245
TiptonCigna Connect 4750$463$926$1,203
TrousdaleAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$479$958$1,245
UnicoiCigna Connect 4750$471$943$1,225
UnionAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$456$913$1,186
Van BurenSilver S04S, Network S$519$1,038$1,349
WarrenSilver S04S, Network S$519$1,038$1,349
WashingtonCigna Connect 4750$471$943$1,225
WayneSilver S04S, Network S$589$1,178$1,530
WeakleyCigna Connect 4750$504$1,007$1,308
WhiteSilver S04S, Network S$519$1,038$1,349
WilliamsonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$479$958$1,245
WilsonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$479$958$1,245

Average cost of health insurance by family size in Tennessee

The size of your family will directly affect your monthly health insurance premium, as a policy is priced based upon the age of each person covered. Children below the age of 15 qualify for lower health insurance premiums at a flat rate. However, once they reach 15, the monthly premium will increase as they grow older.

For example, the average monthly health insurance premium for a family of three in Tennessee, assuming two 40-year-old parents and a child, is $1,371. With each additional child, the average cost of a Silver health plan increases by $316, so a family of four would cost an average of $1,687 per month to insure.

Family SizeAverage Monthly Cost of Health Plan
Individual + Child$844
Couple Age 40$1,055
Family of three (Adult couple and a child)$1,371
Family of four (Adult couple and two children)$1,687
Family of five (Adult couple and three children)$2,003
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in Tennessee.

Health insurance rate changes in Tennessee

Over the past two years, the average cost of a health insurance plan in Tennessee has decreased by 26%, or $171 per month for a 40-year-old. Silver plans in particular experienced the largest decrease in average cost, with rates dropping 24% since 2018.

Each insurer sets premiums for their own policies. Then these are sent to the Tennessee health insurance exchange for approval before being offered to residents.

Metal Tier2018 Premium2020 Premium% Change
Catastrophic$354$328-7.21%
Bronze$417$366-12.22%
Expanded BronzeNot Applicable$396Not Applicable
Silver$694$528-23.96%
Gold$927$729-21.36%
Rates are based on a 40-year-old adult.

Methodology

This analysis used health insurance plan details and rate data that was provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) government website. Using the CMS Public Use Files (PUF), ValuePenguin calculated the typical rates a resident of Tennessee would pay according to their family size and county of residence.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.